Yesterday I posted a late 1960s Volkswagen TV ad featuring a young (and very funny) Dustin Hoffman. Apparently, fifteen or so years later, Hoffman remembered the ease with which he’d picked up a few shekels by pimping himself out for a car he would never drive and put the word out that, for the right price, he might be willing to let himself be hired once again as a pitchman. The result was a gig from heaven: a half-dozen or so short commercials in Italian for Caffe Vergnano. The spots are very simple in concept, only involve two actors (Dustin and Mr. Vergnano–it that’s really him), they were shot in Europe and couldn’t possibly have taken more than a couple of days to accomplish, even allowing for the molasses slow shooting schedules of most commercials. The whole gig probably included a month in a villa somewhere for Hoffman and family and the Vergnano’s may well have been jet-owners (they were, after all, Caffe royalty) which meant flying private for Dustin and his minions. Have a Caffe Vergnano and enjoy the ride…


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